“I liked the matchup.”

For Torre and the Yanks, an ambivalent reunion
The Forgotten Relievers

When it comes to bullpen management, we’re all armchair tacticians. It seems as though this tendency has intensified in the past few weeks. Joe Girardi has made a number of questionable decisions when calling on his bullpen, which inevitably rouses a flurry of second guessing. Sometimes the moves have been justified; when certain pitchers are unavailable it becomes difficult to make the right decision. But last night Girardi made one of the worst possible decisions, given the situation.

The situation begins in the top of the sixth. Ivan Nova had already gotten through the dreaded fifth inning with ease, allowing just one hit and walking one to that point. The inning didn’t start off well, as the Rays went single, walk, single to load the bases with the heart of the order coming up. It looked as though the Yanks caught something of a break when Carl Crawford hit a dribbler to third, but it turned out that his bat hit Francisco Cervelli‘s glove. It was the sixth time this season that Crawford has been awarded first base on a catcher’s interference call. It also put the Rays on the board for the first time.

Considering the results last time Girardi stuck with Nova, I’m surprised he didn’t turn to the bullpen right there. But apparently he wanted to stick with the righty-righty match-up of Nova against Evan Longoria. This time the call paid off. Nova got ahead 0-2 with a changeup and curveball, and then dropped another curve, this one on the low-outside corner, to induce a 5-4-3 double play. That brought up the lefty Dan Johnson, which signaled the end for Nova. With three straight lefties due up Girardi made the fairly obvious call and went to Boone Logan.

Had Logan succeeded in his job we might not be talking about this situation. He needed to just get one of the three lefties, but instead he allowed two singles and walked a guy. That put the Rays to within one and re-loaded the bases. With the righties B.J. Upton and Jason Bartlett due up Girardi had another obvious decision. This was a tailor-made David Robertson situation. He has been the fireman this season, coming in when the leverage is highest and the team needs an out or two. But instead Girardi turned to Chad Gaudin.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

At first it seemed as though Robertson might not be available. He had thrown 23 pitches on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Kerry Wood had thrown 25 pitches on Sunday in addition to the 15 he threw on Saturday. Joba Chamberlain would have been a good choice, too, since he had thrown just 11 pitches combined in the previous two days. If Robertson and Wood weren’t available maybe Girardi didn’t want to burn his only setup man in the sixth inning. But even then it seemed like strange decision. Why go with Gaudin in a bases loaded situation? I’d far rather have him pitch the eighth with a clean slate than in the sixth with the bases loaded.

As we learned after Gaudin walked in the tying run, both Wood and Robertson were available. Robertson started the seventh and recorded two outs before Wood came on to get the next four. Why, then, would Girardi go to Guadin when the lead was on the line? After the game he gave the most predictable answer ever:

“I liked the matchup,” he said. “I liked his stuff against Upton and Bartlett, and that was the rationale basically.”

Matchups are fine and all, but baseball is a game where anything can happen in any given at-bat. That’s why it’s preferable for the manager to go with his best overall guy when the game is on the line. It might have been only the sixth, but the Rays had already rallied and could have added a ton more. Girardi has gone to Robertson in similar situations before, so it seemed baffling that he would go to Gaudin when Robertson was available. That Wood was also available makes the situation even more questionable. Unsurprisingly, going with the lesser guy blew up in Girardi’s face.

That’s not to say that he was wrong about the match-up. In his career Chad Gaudin has been hell on right-handed hitters. He has struck out nearly one per inning and has held them to a .253 batting average. His slider has been a particularly effective weapon. That works well against Upton, who has hit sliders poorly in his career and particularly poorly this season. Bartlett has similarly flailed this season when the opposing pitcher throws him a slider. That might make the match-up seem attractive. Unfortunately, Guadin’s slider has not been as effective this year, and he hasn’t been as effective overall against righties. As much as I like to preach career numbers, if a guy isn’t doing something well in a given year it’s tough to expect him to turn it around just because he has done better in his career. In the micro world of individual match-ups recent trends do matter.

Had both Robertson and Wood been unavailable, the choice to go with Gaudin based on match-ups would make sense. He is certainly a better choice than Sergio Mitre, Jon Alabaladejo, Romulo Sanchez, et. al, in that situation. The Rays had two righties coming up, and Gaudin has proven that he can succeed against those guys, at least to a greater degree than anyone else in the bullpen has. But once we knew that Robertson and Wood could have pitched in that situation, it made the decision seem that much worse. When the other team has the bases loaded and you’re up by one and need just one more out, you go with your best available guy. Girardi did not do that.

Addendum: The only silver lining of this decision is that once the playoffs start Girardi will not have so many choices. With the off-days built into the schedule the relievers should be, for the most part, well-rested. Chad Gaudin will also not be an option. Given the relievers who will make the postseason roster, Girardi will find it difficult to make a bad call when going to the bullpen.

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For Torre and the Yanks, an ambivalent reunion
The Forgotten Relievers
  • theyankeewarrior

    Simple Explanation:

    Joe was stressed out before the game with Torre/Tampa being in town and the whole pre-game ceremony. He turned to the bottle. He was obviously wasted when he put one of the team’s worst pitchers into the game with the bases loaded and the game on the line.

    We all do dumb stuff when we’re wasted. I don’t know why everyone on this site seems to think Joe Girardi is any different. Give the guy a break.

    • Jon

      I made a similar observation during the Texas series. I came to the conclusion that Girardi and Ron Washington were both taking hits off the crack pipe in between innings.

      • theyankeewarrior

        So did Nomaas

  • Paulie21

    I wouldn’t discount the possibility that Girardi is holding “tryouts” for the playoff roster when it comes to his bullpen usage over the last couple weeks. Maybe the reason he went to Gaudin is because he wanted to see if he could handle the situation or not. Better to find out now. I think this explanation is also relevant to some of his other decision-making as well (can Gardner get down a bunt when he absolutely must, etc.). I think he’s looking big picture, with the actual game results being a secondary concern. Of course, he’s never going to admit that to the press . . . .

    • Rob

      This. These moves can’t be seen in isolation from the prevailing context. And Girardi won’t say to the press he’s holding tryouts. So you get the bland matchup statement.

      I’m surprised you don’t see this perspective, Joe-Paw.

      • Rob

        By the way, didn’t Joe do the exact same thing last year? It’s not like this is unprecedented.

    • nsalem

      Good stuff I agree. Joe’s looking for another “hot hand”. Gaudin is not a long term solution, but maybe he can serve as an effective roogy in a playoff situation.

  • CBean

    And now tonight we can expect D-Rob, Wood and Mo to be unavailable right? God Yankees, please blow them out of the water.

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    Plus, I mean, if Joe wants to audition pitchers in pressure situations for the postseason roster, shouldn’t Vazquez be used at some point in a short or long role? Right now he’s just rotting back there, it’s almost like Joe has already made up his mind that Gaudin will be the long man in the postseason regardless of his or anyone else’s performance.

    • CBean

      That’s what I really didn’t get yesterday. They had Javy who can go many innings and has done well out of the bullpen and who is rested. I don’t understand why he didn’t come in unless Joe really expects that he’ll need a long man for one of the next days. Is he afraid no one will punch AJ to make him better?

    • Rob

      What if Vazquez is being held back in case they need another starter down the stretch and after they clinch?

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Assuming he starts for Hughes, which is a reasonable assumption, his rotation spot wouldn’t come up for another 6 days. He should have been available.

        • Rob

          Perhaps, but why should Girardi trust him in that situation? Say Javy starts putting guys on-base in the 7th. Now you’ve burned another arm and still have to go to the first tier if you want to win the game.

          If tonight or tomorrow are blow outs in either direction I assume Javy is the first in the game. Let’s see…

  • boobie

    Feeling some hate for logan here. Guy gave up a bloop that had a chance to be caught had grandy gotten a better jump. Walked a guy but with the way Mccellend was umping last night that wasn’t surprising, and then gave up a dribbler down the line to pena which just was put in the right spot. Tough crowd.

    • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

      I noticed the same on Twitter. I was kind of surprised people were so upset with Logan – he didn’t really do anything wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Had Logan succeeded in his job we might not be talking about this situation. He needed to just get one of the three lefties, but instead he allowed two singles and walked a guy.

      Oh, yeah, that’s vicious, vicious hate. It’s so hateful, what with all the hateness and hateration all up in it. The nastiness and vitriol is palpable. You could cut that hate with a knife and serve it on a hate-plate. CALL OFF THE DOGS, PAWLIKOWSKI!!! EASY, BROSEPH!!!

      • boobie

        hah read the game recap wasn’t just talking about this one post. Easy killer.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Okay, gotcha.

    • JerZGuy

      Logan got the guts squeezed out of him last night. Just where was the strike zone, pubes to the mid thighs?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        To be fair, Gaudin looked like he was getting squeezed as well.

    • Andrew

      Logan was behind in each at-bat. Although 2 out of those 3 ABs, Pitch Fx has him getting hosed by the home plate ump on strike 1. Still though, 2 of those 3 blown calls were also followed up by clear pitches out of the zone. I was frustrated by that, that he couldn’t attack the zone against at least one of those guys, overcome McLelland’s shit zone and get out of the inning to make the GaudinFail irrelevant/impossible.

  • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

    Could the curious and uber-careful handling of Chamberlain be a result of what Cashman said at the start of this season in regards to the pitcher: “He’s a starter in the bullpen”? It would make sense to be extra cautious with his usage as a reliever if you are planning to have him audition for a rotation spot in March 2011.

    • Chris

      I think it’s just a general caution with the use of relievers, and not specifically Joba.

      • ROBTEN

        This.

        I think that ship — the Joba-as-a-starter express — has sailed, but even if it turns out he gets another shot, I don’t think that was behind the recent usage. He does have the most innings pitched of anyone out of the pen and, if anything, it is more likely that they’re now pacing his use over the remaining games, while still trying to keep him sharp for the playoffs.

  • http://dontbringinthelefty.blogspot.com Lucas AA, aka don’t_bring_in_the_lefty

    The real problem is that since Joe doesn’t like to go with his relievers three days in a row, Robertson, Wood, and Rivera are likely all unavailable. Oh, and Logan, too. Does that mean Chamberlain closes? And probably Albaladejo and Ring could get some setup assignments.

    • Chris

      That’s the problem today, but it’s not like there was an obvious move yesterday that could have prevented this.

      • http://dontbringinthelefty.blogspot.com Lucas AA, aka don’t_bring_in_the_lefty

        That’s right. During Sunday’s game, though, I was wondering if it would’ve been best to use somebody else other than Chamberlain (maybe Gaudin) to get that one out in the 7th inning before the matchups with Logan. That way, if Chamberlain rested on Sunday, he could’ve pitched yesterday, and … well, things may have been different? Obviously, I have no idea.

  • JerZGuy

    Dear Joe,
    Three indisputable facts. Death & taxes are inevitable, the sun rises in the east and Nova is a 5 inning pitcher so far this year. Maybe you want to have a reliever up and ready in the sixth for his next outing.
    When you’re allegedly fighting for a pennant you may want to pull him at the first sign of trouble, before he gives the lead away.

    Oh and by the way binder boy. Berkman is slugging a robust .349 since joining the Yanks. Kearns .341. Maybe Miranda with his .435 is the better choice?

    • Rob

      Ummmm, except Nova cruised through and into the 6th. Furthermore, in said inning he got Longoria to ground into two outs. No reliever was going to do better than that.

      Nova got a longer leash. I got no problem with that. Watching the game, not the boxscore, showed he had three pitches working for him. He lost his feel after the long bottom of the fifth.

      • CS Yankee

        That. Nova has been real solid and in the 6th he had some bad breaks (CI & called zone).

        If a pitcher gives up a few early the comment is that he “steddled down”…a few late, but weakly hit, hits and his secondary stuff “lacks” or should be a closer cause he can’t get through the third time of the order.

        You know what, Andy Pettitte couldn’t get through the 3rd time in the order in his early days either and was almost traded because of that. Let’s recall game 5 against Smoltz & the Braves as proof that a guy can make adjustments (from G1) with great success.

        Nova is right now the 3rd best starter on this team and if his pitch count and location are in good shape we need to let him grow even if it costs a game or two. 3rd best and this is after what 4-5 starts?

        Nova’s final development >>> pulling Nova for some bad breaks in the 6th.

        • Rob

          Watching him last night for the first time I can totally get what the Yankees see. Some of the curves and changeups were sick. And he was hammering the corners with his fastball. Three above average pitches if they’re working. Hell, compared to Garza, Nova had the better stuff.

          The problem is he lost his mechanics in the sixth. Where he had no trouble locating earlier, he was pretty wild to start the frame and especially to Zobrist. I thought he found himself again in the Longoria at-bat. All were quality pitches.

          • CS Yankee

            The bread is still baking. These games are big, but not the biggest (those will soon come)…giving him a shot to work thru it makes sense ONLY if you may need him to start come postseason i feel.

            If it was his first start ever, he has to pull him but after a month of starts and having him as a possible starter come postseason is worth testing him last night to a) see what he has b) let him know this is what is expected, and c) showing a belief in him.

            If he is not a viable starter option this year, he should of pulled him at first trouble. He didn’t pass with flying colors but he didn’t fail either. the battle continues…

            • Rob

              Pulled for whom?

    • Chris

      Oh and by the way binder boy. Berkman is slugging a robust .349 since joining the Yanks. Kearns .341. Maybe Miranda with his .435 is the better choice?

      Juan Miranda OBP: .294
      Berkman OBP: .374

      I like Berkman.

      • Rob

        This.

      • Thomas

        On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage, but with the Yankees’ recent RISP FAIL, this clogging up the bases isn’t that great to me.

        Yours truly,
        Dusty Baker

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Futhermore:

        Berkman’s SLG since joining the Yanks: .349
        Berkman’s SLG during his first “adjustment” week with the Yanks: .091
        Berkman’s SLG since that first week: .438

        Lance Berkman >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Juan Miranda

        • JerZGuy

          HA……just what has this fat tub o lard done? I don’t get why everyone is sssoooooo smitten???

          He occasionally hits ground balls through the infield??/

          Spanked the shit outta the ball with the bases juiced….LOL!!!

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            We’re smitten because he’s better than Juan Miranda, Colin Curtis, Kevin Russo, Chad Huffman, Greg Golson, and all the other AAAA fodder that he’s taking plate appearances away from.

            Simple as that.

            Anyone who thinks that giving the PA’s of that motley crew to Lance Berkman is a mistake is a fucking idiot.

            • Rob

              Um, agreed, but commenting guidelines?

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                4. While we try to limit profanity on site, we have not censored comments for profanity. We ask that you be judicious in your use of profanity and keep in mind that fans from all walks of life read and contribute to River Ave. Blues.

                I think I’m okay.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

                  “Anyone who thinks that giving the PA’s of that motley crew to Lance Berkman is a mistake is a fucking idiot.”

                  Could be construed as a personal attack.

                  • JerZGuy

                    No worries, just another internet tough guy.

                  • Rob

                    Right, that’s what I was getting at.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Eh, I think I skirted the line there, but fine. Withdrawn. It’s moot anyway, I’m done responding to that guy.

            • JerZGuy

              Wow you’re maturity is really shining through. I’ll bet mom is very proud.

              BTW Teletubby at Yankee Stadium .327 OBP ..356 slugging.

              Staggering numbers!

              • Rob

                Please stop. I don’t know know the history between you two and I don’t care. This place rocks. Have some appreciation for that or go to NoMaas (love the content, not the comments) to flame.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            I’m starting to think you are Jersey Johnny under a rather uncreative new screenname. Though at least he had good grammar

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Seriously, Ross in Jersey needs to move to a better, smarter state before the stupid rubs off on him.

              • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

                On behalf of my fellow New Jerseyans everywhere, I apologize.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  I blame J-WOWW.

        • dalelama

          I do find it peculiar that a guy who has averaged 30 HRs per year hasn’t hit one yet with us in a lefty friendly park in just about 100 pa. I think he may be hurt.

      • JerZGuy

        Make sure you buy him a cake when he hits his first HR.

        No make that IF he hits a HR. I’ll take a fly ball to the track.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Fact: Fat, slow, old, washed up Lance Berkman has hit three times as many home runs THIS YEAR as Juan Miranda has hit in his entire big league career.

          • JerZGuy

            Who cares what teletubby did in Houston??

            In NY 2010 it’s Miranda 3 Berkman ZZZZZEEEEERRRRRROOOO!!!

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I’m going to stop arguing with you, because you’re acting like a child.

              • Rob

                No, he’s trolling. Leave him be.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

                  • Rob

                    A child is ignorant. A troll is knowledgeable. Children deserve patience. A troll deserves to be ignored.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Touché.

              • JerZGuy

                That’s usually what happens when you’re proven wrong.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

                  You haven’t proven anyone wrong. All you’ve done is proven that you can see one side of an issue and overreact completely.

                • CS Yankee

                  The only thing proven was that the ship sailed on giving Juan any more time this season when they aquired Phat Elvis.

                  I think that both all three (Berk, Kearns & Wood) late pickups will prove out, but realize that the odds are that at least 1 or 2 will not.

                  Dumping on Berkman’s failures is OK I guess but realize that wanting a nobody to take his spot, that already has failed at that role this year (Juan) is not going to happen.

                  Move onwards with the next complaint.

  • Tampa Yankee

    The Rays broadcast showed the following stats:
    Upton vs. Guadin: 2-14 6K
    Bartlett vs. Gausin: 3-14 4k

    I’m guessing that’s what Joe’s book said as well and hence why he went with Gaudin.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I find it both funny and impressive that you misspelled Chad Gaudin’s name twice, in two different ways, during your post defending his usage.

      • Tampa Yankee

        LOL… DFA me please!

      • CS Yankee

        However…

        those stats >>>>> his spelling

        Seems like Gaudin is labeled as “Joe’s boy” but I think Joe lives by the binder moreso than any other manager.

        While, I don’t like it when he pulls Arod for a PR late in a tie game, when we may need him again in extra innings but overall his pen decisions have been solid.

        I’ll take coffee Joe over about 25 (or more) managers out there.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Joe still has to be better than that. Like Joe said above, Gaudin used to be death to righties, but his diminished slider has changed that. He has to know better than to use a washed-up pitcher like Gaudin in such a high leverage spot.

      • CS Yankee

        I’m thinking if Gaudin shines in that moment, he is a viable option come October for getting righties out & mop up duties.

        Joe is giving these boys enough rope to either pull the wagon or hang themselves.

        The noose must be making it hard to breath for gaudin today.

  • Matt

    It’s a mistake to think that going to Gaudin today means he would go to Gaudin in the same spot next month.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    We can bitch, cry and whine all we want about how a manager uses his bullpen in high leverage situations…bottomline is, the inning is always going to be king in dictating who walks through the bullpen door. and in last night’s case i really don’t take issue with it.

    But let’s look at how the rest of the game played out yesterday with D-Rob and Wood. Gaudin walked Upton (thanks to a blah k-zone http://bit.ly/adKLsP ) and got Bartlett to fly out. Tying run scored but it could have been much worse. The next inning D-rob comes in as the Rays lineup flips and allows back to back singles. a force and a sac fly follow. Prompting Girardi to go to Wood to finish that inning up, he walks Dan Johnson and gets Matt Joyce to fly out to end the threat.

    I’d say it’s likely, knowing the way Girardi does things, that whoever comes in after Logan is getting out of that bases loaded jam and then hitting the showers. So if i use Wood or D-Rob, most likely D-rob, there and say they’re done for the night…am i going to use Gaudin in the 7th to face the top of the Rays order, 3 LH bats? am i going to hold him off for the 8th where he could be looking at Longoria and then another string of LH bats? am i going to throw Royce Ring into the deep end of the pool in his first night?

    If i go to Wood in the 6th and let him have the 7th too what becomes of the 8th? If Robertson has issues than who do i go to? Gaudin to work out of a mess which i avoided back in the 6th? I know i don’t have MO for more than 3 outs.

    • CS Yankee

      well stated.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Thanks for the K-zone info. Perhaps the real story is, instead of being mad at Girardi, Gaudin, Logan, or Nova, we should be mad at the umpire.

      All our pitchers that inning actually threw fairly well, they just didn’t get a single call, either on borderline strikes or on clear and obvious strikes.

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

        I think we can most certainly be mad at the umpire. The strike zone was trash all night.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        On the flip side, I think it’s also reasonable to say that the ends do not justify the means, and that bringing in Gaudin there was not a good move.

        If Joe used Robertson to get out of the jam, Gaudin for the 7th, and Wood/Mo for the 8th/9th I don’t think this post would have been written.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          After hearing all the arguments from both sides, I’m unmoved. I don’t think going to Gaudin over Robertson or Wood was either a good move or a bad move.

          Just a move. It made sense, and there’s an equally compelling counterargument. I don’t think either decision is any more or less right than the other.

          • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

            fair enough.

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            The bad move wasn’t using Gaudin, it was using him in the highest leverage situation when D-Rob and Wood were available. If those guys weren’t available, I think there was a decent counter-argument. Since they were though… meh.

      • Yank the Frank

        McCellan is still pissed over the whole pine tar debacle.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          He’s still mad at the Yankees for the whole Civil War thing.

          • Graig not Craig

            Generally speaking, this is a classic respone.

            • Graig not Craig

              *response*

          • larryf

            but he was a Yankee!

        • larryf

          McClellan too old, too tall, too arthritic….to continuously squat down over 3+ hours to reliably reproduce a strike zone.

          • Klemy

            “3+ hours”

            What was his excuse in the first inning? :) Was it the arthritis, too tall, or too old?

  • Graig not Craig

    >It was the sixth time this season that Crawford has been awarded first base on a catcher’s interference call.<

    Why? Long bat? Back of the batter's box? Long reach? Aggressive catchers?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Just spoke to Crawford’s wife, she said it’s not the long bat.

    • larryf

      swinging off the back foot and/or rocking back before coming forward with the swing? Whatever-I still prefer to keep Gardy and Grandy…

    • Klemy

      It almost signals a problem with the hitter, more than the catchers doesn’t it? Maybe it’s just luck. It feels the same to me as the guys who hang over the plate and leave their arm out there to get hit without trying to move though.

  • steve (different one)

    I think the yankees are just caught in a funny spot between having a playoff spot wrapped up but still kindof trying to win the division. It’s a wierd spot to be in and I’m not sure if it’s better to be aggressive to either direction.

  • dalelama

    It seems to me that Nova has problems in the inning following a long big Yankee at bat. I believe in the last two games he blew up after riding the pine for an extended period of time while the Yankees had big innings, maybe he coulld do more to stay warm.

  • Jerome S

    Hey, unless he goes in for some kind of pitching seminar this weekend, why don’t we just not even let Nova pitch in the sixth?

    • Graig not Craig

      Don’t tell him its the sixth and adjust the scoreboards so that it looks like its the fifth.